FDI could be more
According to central bank data, foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 31 percent over the last one year to US$2.7 billion. However, a closer look at historical data will show that we are failing to take full potential of FDI as we have been unable to address infrastructure and administrative bottlenecks that impede significant growth in FDI. Indeed, as pointed out by some economists, it appears that the only sector that is recording significant foreign investments is the power sector. One simply cannot discount the fact that we have not made much headway in upgrading our channels of communication like roads, highways and ports. That the issue of land acquisition and allotment for exclusive economic zones remain a perennial problem for years does not help the case for more investments from abroad.
Unless we are able to open our doors to the potentially large FDI, we will not be able to take advantage of the large, albeit young, workforce that Bangladesh possesses. Increasing investors' confidence means there is much work that remains to be done in simplifying procedures starting from getting access to electricity to contracts management. While the current flow of FDI is encouraging, economists have been quick to point out that the flow could be increased manifold if we got our act together in making pro-investment policies that delivered faster service to prospective foreign investors.